Last week, I gave an overview of PGA Tour’s ShotTrack and how they used it to measure the Strokes Gained metric. Now, we’re going to use course and individual player data to try to estimate a player’s chance of winning a tournament given their skill and position.


Artists use real life happenings to inspire their works. I can’t think of a higher art form than a Medium article about simulating golf tournaments in JavaScript, so I’ll do the same: I’ll take the tournament currently underway, The American Express (wonder who’s sponsoring?) and calculate each player’s chance of winning. …

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The Stats homepage for

Write about what you love. Writing can be a painful, laborious exercise, so if I were to attempt to prattle on for 1000 or so words about, say, fashion, or Hallmark Christmas Specials (I refuse to call them ‘films’), or the finer points of wall painting… I’d probably fall asleep midway through the first paragraph and thus not have any articles to publish. Thus, for my weekly Medium articles, I’ve tried to write about my hobbies and interest, as peculiar as some of them may be: Tetris, Scrabble, NFL… and now, golf! Is golf a sport, or a game? The…

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Shoutout to Wikipedia for all the detailed accounts of the early days of computing

So far, almost all the code featured in my weekly Medium articles has been written in JavaScript. There are several reasons for this- JavaScript was the main language used for functional programming in my bootcamp, so I became well-acquainted with it on a daily basis. Another reason, just as important, is that Google’s DevTools make it very easy to run JavaScript code in the browser. I frequently create functions and variables and test out my code before pasting the snippets in my articles.

Yet another reason is that, frankly, JavaScript is a pretty darn simple language to use. It’s probably…

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A screenshot of FiveThirtyEight’s NFL game predictions page

I am, almost against my will, a big NFL fan. I vow to myself at the start of each year that my Sunday ritual of watching football from noon to 10:30 pm will be a thing of the past, that I’ll spend that time reading, or writing, or composing an epic poem in iambic pentameter, or developing the next revolutionary app… alas, I’m in the middle of my 17th straight NFL-saturated Sunday. Only 2 more hours to go this season… and then four more weeks of playoffs! Oy vey. Hey, what can I say? American football players are the best…

The other day, I wrote a few functions to handle the word search functions of a Scrabble rack: given seven letters and a dictionary of valid words, said functions collect all combinations of letters (2–7 letters) that form valid words. However, there is a lot more to Scrabble than just this: you need 100 tiles, a board, two players… the ability to lay tiles on the board, check whether the word/s formed is/are valid and then calculate the total score of your play… and all this has to look good enough for people to want to play it! Ahh, the…

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Scrabble is, without a doubt, my all-time favorite board game. For me, it goes beyond mere fun and games; I’m actually, believe it or not, a competitive player! Yes, I’ve played in tournaments… and I’ve even won a few of them! Technically, that makes me a professional Scrabble player. Damn right I’m proud! It’s a great little factoid to bring up during interviews, parties and especially dates. Trust me, the ladies love a man who knows his way around a Scrabble board… (jk-lol-rofl-lmao). Jokes aside, it’s not just a dopey family board game to be pulled out on Thanksgiving and…

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Definitely a real game… I’m sure all those flushes & runs are just an amazing coincidence!

Cribbage is the most popular card game among my family members- it’s pretty much the only game we play with any regularity these days, and we’ve spent countless hours facing off on planes, trains, automobiles and the kitchen table. “We” refers primarily to my parents and I; my sister plays a handful of times a year and thus needs to be refreshed of the rules nearly every time- she’s a quick learner, so after 2 or 3 hands she picks it back up again, and after a game or two vows to play more frequently in the future so as…

Last week, I did a very simple implementation of Tetris that caused Xs and Os to appear on the screen, with basic logic to handle rotations, checking the validity of moves (e.g. whether a piece can go down or be moved left or right) completion of rows, updating score and determining when a game is over. Now, we’re going to give this program a makeover. The underlying logic will be the same, but the presentation will be in… React!

Creating a React App

There are several ways to launch a React App, but the easiest path is to run the following lines of code:

I grew up in a video-game-deprived household. I received my first console until I was nearly 16 years old: a joint Christmas gift to my sister and me of… a Nintendo Wii. *sobs* Hey, what can I say? You can keep your fancy graphics and story lines; Wii Golf is as good as it gets! As a result of my minimal exposure to video games, I’ve never spent much time on them, and the few games that have caught my attention are simple, lo-fi affairs: Wii Golf, Wii Tennis, Pokemon (Generations 1–3), 2048… and lately, Tetris! This Soviet classic, developed…

Two weeks ago, I did a little bit of web scraping, getting data from a simple table. Last week, I created a baseball simulator in JavaScript. This week, I’m combining the two: scraping data from a baseball stats site, then building a simulator… but this time, both in Python!

Scraping The Data

Whereas in JavaScript we used the request().then().then() …

Jack Overby

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